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Travel restrictions and SARS-CoV-2 transmission: an effective distance approach to estimate impact.
Bull World Health Organ. 2020 Aug 01; 98(8):518-529.BW

Abstract

Objective

To estimate the effect of airline travel restrictions on the risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) importation.

Methods

We extracted passenger volume data for the entire global airline network, as well as the dates of the implementation of travel restrictions and the observation of the first case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in each country or territory, from publicly available sources. We calculated effective distance between every airport and the city of Wuhan, China. We modelled the risk of SARS-CoV-2 importation by estimating survival probability, expressing median time of importation as a function of effective distance. We calculated the relative change in importation risk under three different hypothetical scenarios that all resulted in different passenger volumes.

Findings

We identified 28 countries with imported cases of COVID-19 as at 26 February 2020. The arrival time of the virus at these countries ranged from 39 to 80 days since identification of the first case in Wuhan. Our analysis of relative change in risk indicated that strategies of reducing global passenger volume and imposing travel restrictions at a further 10 hub airports would be equally effective in reducing the risk of importation of SARS-CoV-2; however, this reduction is very limited with a close-to-zero median relative change in risk.

Conclusion

The hypothetical variations in observed travel restrictions were not sufficient to prevent the global spread of SARS-CoV-2; further research should also consider travel by land and sea. Our study highlights the importance of strengthening local capacities for disease monitoring and control.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.Center for Public Health Sciences, National Cancer Center, Tokyo, Japan.The Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre, Melbourne, Australia.Graduate School of Public Health, St Luke's International University, 3-6-2 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan.Institute for Business and Finance, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan.Department of Mathematical and Computing Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan.Department of Health Policy and Management, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan.Center for Preventive Medical Sciences, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.Department of Health Policy and Management, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan.Graduate School of Public Health, St Luke's International University, 3-6-2 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32773897

Citation

Shi, Shoi, et al. "Travel Restrictions and SARS-CoV-2 Transmission: an Effective Distance Approach to Estimate Impact." Bulletin of the World Health Organization, vol. 98, no. 8, 2020, pp. 518-529.
Shi S, Tanaka S, Ueno R, et al. Travel restrictions and SARS-CoV-2 transmission: an effective distance approach to estimate impact. Bull World Health Organ. 2020;98(8):518-529.
Shi, S., Tanaka, S., Ueno, R., Gilmour, S., Tanoue, Y., Kawashima, T., Nomura, S., Eguchi, A., Miyata, H., & Yoneoka, D. (2020). Travel restrictions and SARS-CoV-2 transmission: an effective distance approach to estimate impact. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 98(8), 518-529. https://doi.org/10.2471/BLT.20.255679
Shi S, et al. Travel Restrictions and SARS-CoV-2 Transmission: an Effective Distance Approach to Estimate Impact. Bull World Health Organ. 2020 Aug 1;98(8):518-529. PubMed PMID: 32773897.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Travel restrictions and SARS-CoV-2 transmission: an effective distance approach to estimate impact. AU - Shi,Shoi, AU - Tanaka,Shiori, AU - Ueno,Ryo, AU - Gilmour,Stuart, AU - Tanoue,Yuta, AU - Kawashima,Takayuki, AU - Nomura,Shuhei, AU - Eguchi,Akifumi, AU - Miyata,Hiroaki, AU - Yoneoka,Daisuke, Y1 - 2020/05/28/ PY - 2020/03/18/received PY - 2020/04/26/revised PY - 2020/05/12/accepted PY - 2020/8/11/entrez PY - 2020/8/11/pubmed PY - 2020/8/29/medline SP - 518 EP - 529 JF - Bulletin of the World Health Organization JO - Bull World Health Organ VL - 98 IS - 8 N2 - Objective: To estimate the effect of airline travel restrictions on the risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) importation. Methods: We extracted passenger volume data for the entire global airline network, as well as the dates of the implementation of travel restrictions and the observation of the first case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in each country or territory, from publicly available sources. We calculated effective distance between every airport and the city of Wuhan, China. We modelled the risk of SARS-CoV-2 importation by estimating survival probability, expressing median time of importation as a function of effective distance. We calculated the relative change in importation risk under three different hypothetical scenarios that all resulted in different passenger volumes. Findings: We identified 28 countries with imported cases of COVID-19 as at 26 February 2020. The arrival time of the virus at these countries ranged from 39 to 80 days since identification of the first case in Wuhan. Our analysis of relative change in risk indicated that strategies of reducing global passenger volume and imposing travel restrictions at a further 10 hub airports would be equally effective in reducing the risk of importation of SARS-CoV-2; however, this reduction is very limited with a close-to-zero median relative change in risk. Conclusion: The hypothetical variations in observed travel restrictions were not sufficient to prevent the global spread of SARS-CoV-2; further research should also consider travel by land and sea. Our study highlights the importance of strengthening local capacities for disease monitoring and control. SN - 1564-0604 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32773897/Travel_restrictions_and_SARS_CoV_2_transmission:_an_effective_distance_approach_to_estimate_impact_ L2 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmid/32773897/ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -